Apple will be holding a press event March 17 to preview its forthcoming iPhone 3.0 software, and already speculation is reaching a fever pitch as to what features and capabilities Apple has planned for the iPhone.
It’s not unfair to describe the rest of the mobile industry as still trying to catch up with Apple’s iPhone 2.0 software, which debuted with the iPhone 3G in mid-2008: Microsoft, Palm, RIM, and the Android community are all in the process of rolling out their own application stores to compete with Apple’s wildly successful App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple sold some 13.7 million iPhones during 2008, and in January said more than 500 million applications had been downloaded from its App Store. That Apple is already read to begin showing iPhone 3.0 just puts that much more pressure on its competitors to bring something truly compelling to the mobile arena.
Apple’s event will focus on previewing new capabilities and introducing a new SDK developers can use to create applications for the iPhone 3.0 software.
Leading the speculation about features that might appear in the iPhone 3.0 software include support for copy and paste (finally!), an improved “SpringBoard” that can better manage the panoply of applications iPhone and iPod touch users seem to love, and support for so-called “push” notifications that Apple originally promised with its MobileMe service and then had to retract following the service’s very rocky launch. Other leading items on iPhone users’ wish lists include better support for background applications, improved video and photo capabilities, MMS support, and network tethering.